Things are quiet right now in our little slice of heaven. Most of the roads in the park are closed as the National Park Service allows the snow to build up so that the over-the-snow vehicles will have a good base come December. It’s a bit chilly to go rafting down the Shoshone River, and the Nite Rodeo buttoned up its operations until next Memorial Day.
I still see fishermen coming through town, and the hunters like to stay in town and enjoy our restaurants and nightly entertainment. The museums are always great with many visitors taking extra time to learn about the area and its early inhabitants, natural features, art and more.
There is still some time before the ice climbing gets going. It’s also easy to imagine hitting the slopes at Sleeping Giant Ski Area.
For the most part, however, we are in that shoulder season where many of us cut back on our hours and reconnect with friends who worked many days – sometimes weeks – in a row because that is simply what we do in an area that ebbs and flows with so closely related to the patterns of tourists.
I love it this way.
I have tried the 9-to-5 life in an office, but I found myself getting antsy and manufacturing reasons to be outside. Instead of picking up the phone to call Kenny Martin about the status of the wild mustangs roaming the BLM land out past the airport, I felt the need to discuss the topic in person. While I was talking with him, it seemed like a good idea for me to hop on the bus with his tour group and see the horses for myself.
Another time I needed to pick up office supplies and decided to use some discount coupons I found online. The problem was that the supply store in question was located in Casper. Nobody believed me when I said the car seemed to have a mind of its own. They told me I had been reading too many Stephen King novels.
That job did not last long. It seems the boss expected me to stay at my desk and do the various tasks assigned to me. I take full responsibility, but it was a good experience. Sort of like that time I went and lived with my aunt in New York City. I can say I gave it an honest effort and learned that I am simply not a big-city girl.
This is not to say that I shy away from work. When I was young and scooping ice cream, I loved it when the tour bus pulled up and a group of 50 people would walk in the front door. We would work long hours for as many days in a row as necessary. Our crew would be a case study for efficiency, dedication and teamwork.
I know that this lull will not last long. The holidays are approaching quickly, and special events throughout the winter will be that much more enjoyable. Many business owners are taking the time to make sure their equipment is in good working order and figuring out marketing plans for next year.
There is still so much for visitors to do around here in the winter. Sometimes it just takes an extra layer and proper directions around town. You don’t want to end up in Casper for office supplies.
Until next time, I’m enjoying the quiet time in Cody/Yellowstone Country.